Not sold, but now ready to be so. In an earlier post I mentioned that even though the X-Air hadn’t been flown for several months, its engine started up and ran very sweetly. The problem, though was that it wouldn’t idle properly and its tickover wouldn’t fall below 2000 rpm.

I suspected that its carburettor inlet rubbers might be perished and that one or more might be letting in air. But this wasn’t the case and it didn’t take too long to home in on the culprit when I removed the carbs to check on their cables, how clean they were internally and replace a couple of split cable boots.

I found that although the fuel in them had evaporated during the summer, there was no goo or any other form of residue inside them. In fact they were both spotless. And neither had the inlet rubbers perished – they were still like new.

The problem was that one strand of one carb’s throttle cable had snapped some way away fom the carburettor itself, where the cables fom both carbs meet actually and join with the single cable coming up from the throttle lever, but although it was the whole length of the cable away fom the carb, something like 80 cms, the strand had loosened itself down the whole cable’s length until at the carb slide end, it was fouling the cable outer enough to prevent the slide from fully closing.

So all I had to do was replace the split cable boots while the carbs were off and then fit two new cable inners. After cleaning their exteriors, replacing one primer rubber cap that had split and refitting them, the job was done and idling was back to normal.

The other main job that I had to do was repaint the propeller tips yellow. Although the aircraft has hardly been flown since I last did it, while the propeller was inside its black plastic cover, the heat of the summer had caused the yellow paint to blister and then dry out leaving parts of the paint looking like the surface of the moon.

It didn’t take too much to rub it down and make it smooth again before giving it a flash coat of universal primer yesterday and a fresh coat of yellow today. Then I pumped up its tyres and after a few minutes work cleaning the cabin interior and screen, the X-Air will be ready to fly across to Ste Foy la Grande to show the prospective purchaser.

If the wind doesn’t pick up too much, as it’s forecast to do unfortunately, I hope to do a flight test tomorrow and the flight to Ste Foy on Sunday, so it’ll just be a matter of waiting to see how things turn out.

There have also been some developments on the car front. It appears that my thinking that my Kia might have to be written off and sold for peanuts may be far too pessimistic. A thorough internet search has revealed an ample supply of second-hand engines right across Europe, some at quite attractive prices. I’ve especially found one near to San Sebastian in Spain, which is only five hours drive away, removed from another automatic Sportage, at a very attractive price indeed.

It is being offered by the breaker with a one year warranty and I’ve now been chasing them for two or three days saying that if they can confirm that it is in good running order, suffering from just the usual wear for its age and not making any nasty knocking or other noises, I’ll pay them straight away and be down with my trailer next week to pick it up.

But can I get a sensible reply out of them? Can I heck! I just don’t understand how these people stay in business if they are that unbothered about selling stuff. In the meantime, my next-door-neighbour has told me about a French web site that specialises in searching for second-hand engines and having registered last night, I’ve been receiving a steady stream of offers today.

However, none tick as many boxes as the Spanish engine does so I just wish that the seller of the latter would do his job and get back to me with the information that I need. After all, it’s not rocket science, is it 😐